Can Goats Save the Country From Wildfires?

goats wildfires

By Melinda CaffertyNatural Blaze

Portugal is getting by with a little help from … goats!

The U.S. is not the only nation with drought-ridden regions that are extremely susceptible to wildfires.

And while the U.S. has quietly employed goats for about a decade to help stall wildfires – the Portuguese can’t help but sing their praises.

I am not sure to what extent the U.S. utilizes goats, but employing goats to stop wildfires is actually a new initiative for Portugal!

As Good News Network reports:

As a means of preventing any more wildfires from ravaging the landscape, Portugal is now financing dozens of goat herds to munch away at the dry vegetation that helps wildfires to flourish.

Goats are an environmentally-friendly way of keeping greenery in check, and they’re stunningly good at it. Additionally, the government funding helps support goat herders and farmers in rural parts of the country.

When the Associated Press reported the news in June, they interviewed 61-year-old goatherd Daniel Fernandes. The Portuguese man described how his goat herd saved his family home in 2004 when wildfires crept in on the trees surrounding their residence.

The magic of the goats’ unwitting rescue mission lies in what they do best – mow the grass!

Because the goats had trampled and eaten all the greenery, there was nothing for the flames to latch on – they had created an “earth moat” for Fernandes.

Tom Klatt, former manager of the Office of Emergency Preparedness at UC Berkeley, commented:

The goat clearance scheme is one of the key reasons the Bay Area hasn’t had a recurrence of a catastrophic fire in decades.

In addition to goats, Portugal just added 1,000 more firefighters for the cause and assembled fleets of water-dumping planes and rescue helicopters.

 

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